I guess this is one of the hardest thing to master when you grow up.
We are always struggling with time.
How we try to allocate time to everything and everyone.
And you will soon realise multi-tasking does not work. At all.
But today the focus I want to stress on is not about time.
It’s about how focusing on physical and mental health can help you achieve equillibrium in life.
Why physical and mental health?
First of all. I get that we might have different definition of the “balance” we want in our lives.
But the common ground is that we just want all the aspects, i.e. work, family, relationships, health, and for some people religion, to be fine and peaceful don’t we?
And the reality is that one of those aspects usually takes most of our time and energy out on a regular basis and we just get too exhausted and beaten to care about anything else (you know what I’m talking about). There are things we focus too much on, leading to other aspects we often neglect, or put it another way, a “second priority”.
Think of the most common viscious cycle: someone who wakes up late for his day job because he watched too much TV last night or his kid just wouldn’t go to bed, rushes to office with his eyes barely open and tons of paperwork are waiting for him at his desk. Then he takes too much caffaine because he tries to focus at work, which drains his energy by the end of the day that he decides to skip gym, go home instead and order takeaway, watch more TV till late and the day repeats.
Do you see a few problems here?
I dare say that the one cornerstone habit that you need to develop in your life right now is EXERCISING. There are tons of research showing how exercising can improve not just your physique and sleep quality, but also mental health, memories etc. Just google it or check out this website: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-living/the-mental-health-benefits-of-exercise.htm.
Now imagine another situation: someone wakes up regularly at 6am every day, hits the gym, goes to work with a refreshed mind and energetic body because he got all pumped up during the gym session. His productivity and efficiency are sky high. He no longer works overtime and he has the whole evening to take care of his family and wind down. The day repeats.
Does it sound like an ideal balanced life?
That’s the goal.
what do we do now?
Step 1: do a life audit
Rate your life in different categories. On a scale of one to ten how satisfied are you currently with your career, family, relationships, health, spiritual life, finance etc?
^ My bullet journal back in 2017.
Step 2: reflect on your life
Spend some time with yourself. Be honest. Why did you rate your social life a 6 out of 10, for example? What, or who contributed to most of the happiness, satisfaction or anxiety and sadness?
Step 3: establish goals
Set 1-3 goals for both your physical and mental health that are related to the aspects you just listed out. For example:
1 Request for working from home twice a week so I have more time to take care of the kids and work out (career, family and health)
2 Make more health meals for my family instead of eating out or ordering takeaway (family, health, finance)
3 Have quality date with my significant other once a week, e.g. hiking (health, relationships)
The point here is to incorporate physical and mental health related activities in your schedule so your overall life will improve drastically. Don’t forget the exercise part – I’m not asking you to run a marathon. Just chill, and remember to move your body as much as you can! Even walking after dinner counts. It’s really not that hard, trust me.
Step 4: talk to your family and friends about your plan and start doing!
Your goals involve your family and friends so of course you should tell them. Maybe say you want to spend more time with them. Negotiate the avilable time that both of you can make things happen. For toxic people or events, or even a job, it may take longer to make a change but it is a process. Achieving balance in life is after all, a process too.
Step 5: be flexible
Try things out for a few weeks and adjust. If you think it works but you haven’t been sticking to it consistently, don’t be harsh on yourself. Start small. Take baby steps. Walk for 10 minutes first before you run a mile. Also don’t be afraid to change the plan. It is all about achieving balance, and you may discover many other ways to get to the goal.
Yes it obviously takes more than just snapping fingers to strive for that balance in life, but it is the fun part of the journey. It is your life to live so do not be afraid to make certain changes in order to optimise your life.
So what aspect do you like to improve in your life and why?
What tiny habit are you going to implement in order to improve all other areas of your life?
Comment down below about what you think!
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